If you’re reading this, chances are you love to travel. And what’s better than travelling? Seeing the world for the best price possible! Travelling consistently throughout the year is important to me, so I’m always on the hunt for the best-priced flights, and I use multiple travel websites to plan my trips.

Recently, I’ve found that a lot of my friends don’t use the same websites or tools I use to find the best travel deals, so I thought I’d share some of my budget travel secrets. After all, I want them to come along on my adventures too! To help start your 2018 trip planning the right way, here are 5 of my top budget travel websites:

Google Flights

Hands down, Google Flights takes the cake for being the most helpful resource for trip planning. Just enter your departure point and destination, select your dates, and the prices will appear in order of affordability. You can also narrow your search by selecting certain airlines, stops and preferred airports. If there’s a small tweak you can make to your dates to save some money, Google will let you know with its “Date Tip” function. Similarly, if you’re flexible with your dates, Google will tell you which are the cheapest (the prices will be bolded in green in the calendar).

travel deals google flights
Google Flights is a real-time, intuitive tool to use when deciding where you’d like to go.

If Google isn’t showing you the price you’re looking for, and you’re planning your trip a few months in advance, select “Track price” for your preferred flight(s). This lets you know if the price goes up or down, and you’ll constantly be reminded of the trip you’re planning to take! I have an array of tracked prices through Google flights, so I can keep my options open and figure out the best time to buy my flights (and find out the optimal time to visit the places on my list)! If you’re looking for more than just flights, Google’s array of trip planning services are sure to help you out, from start to finish!

Y Deals

Yes, Google Flights helps, but putting in combinations to find out the cheapest deals would take a very long time to do manually. It’s impossible for us to stay up to date with what’s happening in the “flight sale” world without any help, so I highly recommend subscribing to Y Deals, which is available for every major Canadian city, including Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary and Montreal, to name a few.

Y Deals features blog posts catered to your departure city, depending on where you live.
Y Deals features blog posts catered to your departure city, depending on where you live.

You’ll receive links to cheap flight deals to everywhere around the world as soon as they become available. And each blog post walks you through how to purchase the deal, with applicable date options. Believe it or not, sometimes, airlines release flights for incorrect prices, and even have flight sales for certain dates. When it comes to trip planning, this resource saves plenty of time, especially if you’re a spontaneous traveller who’s willing to travel anywhere, anytime.

Next Departure

Similar to YVR Deals, Next Departure is broken down by departure city, and provides you with an array of flight deals to pretty much anywhere you’d like to go. You can also filter the deals by Active and Expired, which is helpful when you want to see current deals only!

Next Departure categorizes deals by departure city, so it’s easy to navigate through current travel deals.
Next Departure categorizes deals by departure city, so it’s easy to navigate through current travel deals.

Like Y Deals, Next Departure is timely with their deals, making sure they email you once the deal is available. This is yet another site I swear by, making sure I read their emails as soon as I receive them!

KAYAK

Comparable to Google Flights, KAYAK compares flight fares across an array of websites and airlines, and combines one-way flights into round trips to save you the most money. What’s more, KAYAK not only compares flights – it compares hotels, cars, and flight-hotel combinations, so it’s a great one-stop-shop for trip planning.

KAYAK’s system allows you to search and compare flights, hotels, all in one place.
KAYAK’s system allows you to search and compare flights, hotels, all in one place.

If you’re serious about booking flights to a specific destination and you like how KAYAK works, it doesn’t hurt to set up alerts for your destination, because you never know when the prices will go down (or up)! If you’re looking for travel inspiration, keep an eye out for Kayak’s list of trending travel destinations for Canadians.

Sunwing

If you’re looking specifically for last minute deals or all-inclusive vacations, Sunwing is the way to go. It’s easier to find vacations categorized by departure city, then broken down by destination, and package-type. They’re very competitive with their prices, and are highly recommended by travel agents!

top vacation package websites
Looking for vacation packages down south? Sunwing offers great deals on last minute all-inclusive getaways to popular beach destinations.

 

If you do book with them, sometimes they’ll include complementary services with their packages, like a free glass of celebratory champagne on the flight to your destination!

To get the best bang for your buck, I wouldn’t rely solely on just one of these websites; it’s best to use a combination. Some sites will show travel deals that aren’t on others, so keep your options open to ensure you don’t miss out on that much-anticipated trip!

For more booking tips, find out how budget travel and personal finance expert, Barry Choi saved $1,450 on airline tickets. Like many Canadians, you could also consider flying out of a US airport to save money on airfare.

And remember, once you’ve booked your trip, always opt for proper travel insurance. For last minute deals, Trip Cancellation Insurance may be your best bet, so look into your options, and let us know if you have any questions in the comment section below!

Happy trip planning,

Linnea

2018 Trip Planning: Top 5 Budget Travel Websites

Jan 9 2018